7 best non-comedogenic foundations to prevent clogged pores, as tested by our beauty editor

Keep pores clear with the best non-comedogenic foundations

five of MIL's best non-comedogenic foundations from Anastasia Beverly Hills, Giorgio Armani, L'oreal Paris, YSL and Lancome
(Image credit: Future)

The best non-comedogenic foundations are brilliant for two reasons. Not only do they provide great coverage with a shine-free finish, but these formulas also don't contain any ingredients that clog your pores. This is especially important for blemish-prone skin, as it'll prevent your pores from getting super congested, minimizing the risk of breakouts.

If your skin is oily and/or blemish-prone, non-comedogenic cosmetics are particularly important to know about during your quest to find the best foundation. They are designed to not clog your pores, and are therefore a much better fit for your skin type.

And so our beauty editor, Aleesha Badkar, put dozens of the most popular options on the market to the test, in order to curate a list of the top-performing non pore-clogging foundation buys.

What are the best non-comedogenic foundations?

Of all the formulas we tried and tested, these were the very top picks:

  1. Best for most skin types: Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation | View at Sephora
  2. Best for affordability: L'oréal Paris True Match Liquid Foundation With SPF And Hyaluronic Acid | View at Ulta
  3. Best for full coverage: Yves Saint Laurent All Hours Foundation SPF 20 | View at Sephora
  4. Best for oily skin: Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation | View at Space NK
  5. Best for dry skin: Nars Sheer Glow Foundation | View at Sephora
  6. Best for a solid color match: Anastasia Beverly Hills Luminous Foundation | View at Sephora
  7. Best for on-the-go: Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Spf15 Foundation Stick | View at Sephora

How we tested the best non-comedogenic foundations

Each foundation was tested by our beauty expert for at least three days in a row, and she assessed all of the below factors during that time.

  • Ease of application
  • Texture
  • How comfortable it felt on the skin
  • Whether or not it soaked into pores
  • Whether or not it blurred the look of pores 
  • Finish 
  • Range and number of shades
  • Length of wear

As well as speaking to skincare experts to further her understanding of what she should look for in a non-comedogenic foundation formula, when deciding which products to test, our expert chose a mixture of popular and bestselling non-comedogenic foundations, as well as formulas from trusted brands, and products with exciting claims about their results. 

Once you've got to grips with what non-comedogenic actually means, and the difference between non-comedogenic foundation vs oil-free foundation, it's time to choose your favorite from our edit of the foundations that performed the best below...

Meet the tester
Aleesha Badkar
Meet the tester
Aleesha Badkar

I have quite oily but dehydrated skin, meaning it needs water-based rather than oil-based products. I therefore usually opt for water-based foundations and sheer or satin-textures, but I do also appreciate a more robust formula that can even out my skin tone and blur the look of my large pores. I also pay close attention to a foundation's shade spectrum because I often struggle to find a perfect match for my medium-tan, warm-to-neutral skin tone.

The best non-comedogenic foundations, as reviewed by our beauty editor

All your non-comedogenic foundation questions, answered

Meet the expert
Meet the expert
Dr. Maryam Zamani

Dr. Maryam Zamani is a board-certified ophthalmologist, facial aesthetic doctor and oculoplastic surgeon with a medical doctorate from the George Washington University School of Medicine. She's also the founder of luxe skincare brand MZ Skin. In this feature, she's advised readers on shopping for foundation when your skin is sensitive or reactive.

Meet the expert
Meet the expert
Dr. Paris Acharya

Dr. Paris Acharya is an aesthetic doctor at London Marylebone’s Waterhouse Young clinic, with more than a decade of experience as a maxillofacial surgeon and doctorates in both medicine and dentistry. Below she's given further insight into how to choose a foundation that's right for you.

How to choose the best non-comedogenic foundation

To find the best non-comedogenic foundation for you, the key thing to examine is the ingredients list. Sheer and water-based formulas will leave you with a natural look rather than an unwanted cakey finish. Those who struggle with particularly oily skin will benefit from non-comedogenic foundations that promise to mattify and stay matte throughout the day.

  • Try oil-free formulas if your skin is sensitive. "For people with sensitive, problematic, or reactive skin, it is worth opting for oil-free formulas and stay away from full-coverage, long-wear formulas," says Dr. Zamani. "Always consider skin type and concerns, the season, skin tone match, and desired coverage." Meanwhile Dr. Acharya adds: "Your ideal foundation should be lightweight, water, gel, or aloe-vera based. Bonus points if it contains salicylic acid for acne-prone individuals. Look for terms like hypoallergenic or non-comedogenic, but remember they are not necessarily regulated, so still be vigilant of the ingredient list."
  • Acne-prone skins should choose non-drying foundations. If you want more coverage so that your base will cover blemishes, look for a product that is described as non-drying to avoid caking, patchiness, or the foundation flaking off throughout the day. 
  • Combination skin? Opt for hydrating formulas. Shopping is trickier when you have both oily and dehydrated skin, so in this case it’s best to look out for the best non-comedogenic foundations containing hydrating ingredients, like hyaluronic acid, and emollients, which will pack hydration into your skin without clogging up pores with something heavier.
Aleesha Badkar
Former Deputy Editor at My Imperfect Life

Aleesha was Deputy Editor and Beauty & Fashion Editor for My Imperfect Life, where she headed up the beauty, fashion and eCommerce pages. Previously she was Shopping Writer at woman&home and gained an AOP awards nomination after working on their news team. She earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London in 2017 and has since worked with a number of brands including, Women's Health, Stylist and Goodto. When she’s not testing all the new beauty & lifestyle products on the market, Aleesha spends her time soaking up the newest bestsellers and Netflix releases, watching everything Marvel, learning about different wines, attempting new languages and traveling as much as she can.